Feedback & cake

Start with Cake / (+ some healthy alternative)

The team will share some food/drink together at the start of the session to allow everyone to relax and facilitate opening up communication.

Reminder of period

The team can remind themselves of the time period and recall what the team worked on and who worked with whom.

Frequency of 2 weeks

Continuous and timely feedback is valuable, relevant and actionable.

The team decided to hold a group feedback session every 2 weeks initially.

Attendees - development team only + Product manager

Development team only for now whilst the team is learning how to give/receive feedback.

Prepare beforehand

Feedback is best when it is authentic, clear and well thought out. Preparing beforehand can help ensure you get it right.

Take time to gather thoughts

Some minutes for reflection, typically 20.

Recipient to agree to feedback

Feedback is best received when solicited or given with agreement from the recipient. The giver should ask the recipient if he/she would like the feedback.

The team’s approach is to have a check-in with everyone in the team at the start of the feedback session.

Feedback is a perception

Feedback is the perception of the giver, it is not fact or truth. The recipient can choose whether to action it or not, and how they want to action it.

Feedback is balanced

Feedback can be positive or constructive perceptions of a recipient's behaviour.

It’s important to give balanced feedback - a combination of what is being done well with what could be improved:

We should give positive and constructive feedback separately, and preface each piece of feedback by saying which it is.

Feedback should be concise

A piece of feedback should fit on a post-it note for brevity. It should be specific and matter of fact.

Feedback is specific

Feedback should be specific and non-ambiguous, avoiding general themes and patterns - specify the situation or piece of work, who was present and specifically what the observed behaviour was.

Avoid generalisations

Avoid use of the words “all,” “never” and “always.” Those words can seem extreme, lack credibility and place arbitrary limits on behavior. Be more precise about quantity or proportion, if you address terms of quantities at all.

Limit focus

Focus on one or two key feedback items rather than too many, as it could overwhelm and seem like an attack. It should be behaviour observed for the time period in question rather than broad observations.

Use “I” statements

Give feedback from your own perspective to avoid labeling the person. Using “I” statements to indicate the impressions are your own. Let the recipient know how it affected you:

Within the individual's control

Feedback should not relate to behaviour or circumstances the receiver cannot control.

Feedback is not advice

Feedback is a perception of a specific behaviour and should not be advice for how the recipient can change.

Advice or suggestions should only be offered if prompted by the recipient. Be explicit about what you would like to change. To avoid sounding like you're preaching, stay away from words like "good," "bad," "must," "need to," etc. Rather, use “could” and offer options.

Feedback is specifically from the giver

If you are neither the giver nor the receiver, avoid contributing an additional observation, unless asked to by the receiver.

Respect & gratitude

The feedback someone provides is valuable and a gift, so it is important to let the person complete their feedback before asking for clarification or advice.

To show appreciation, be sure to thank the giver for their feedback.